Health IT

Senators look to promote health data sharing with new bill

health data

A pair of U.S. Senators are teaming up on a bid to improve interoperability between electronic health care records platforms. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will introduce new legislation on Oct 6, entitled The Transparent Ratings on Usability and Security to Transform Information Technology (TRUST IT) Act of 2015.

A near-final draft of the bill, obtained by FCW, lays out how TRUST IT would amend the health IT-centric Title XXX of the Public Health Service Act.

The bill proposes a three-star rating system to assess the interoperability, usability and security of certified health IT solutions. One-star, "less than satisfactory" solutions would be subject to corrective actions, overseen by the secretary of Health and Human Services, and could face fines and the loss of certification.

Experts have long warned that absent the right incentives, electronic health records vendors have little reason to ensure their systems communicate well with others.

TRUST IT also imposes penalties for health information blocking, the deliberate, dollar-driven obstruction of electronic health info against which the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has long railed.

About the Author

Zach Noble is a former FCW staff writer.

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